Online Accessibility Policy

Definitions

authoring tool

Includes WYSIWYG web page editing tools, content management tools, development tool for applet, scripts, or applications, non-text media (e.g. video, audio, images) editing tools, social media content authoring tools (e.g. blogs, wikis, social networks).

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG)

Accessibility requirements for web authoring tools, including software and services that are used to produce web content, for example HTML editors, content management systems (CMS), or online forums. ATAG guidelines outline both how to make the tools accessible and also how the tools can be built to help create more accessible content.

internal website

Website developed or procured to meet an internal SmartSign business need, such as timesheet management. Access to such sites is only available to SmartSign members of staff, both permanent and temporary.

public website

Website developed or procured to support or inform SmartSign customers and members of the public.

user agent

Includes browsers, media players and applications that render web content.

User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG)

Accessibility requirements for web browsers, media players, and some assistive technologies that process and present web content to users.

Web content

Includes electronic documents, websites, services, and applications delivered via the web.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Accessibility requirements for web content, including text, images, audio-visual materials, and the code used for structure, style, and interactions.

website

Includes websites, services, and applications created using Open Web Platform technologies. Note this includes web applications developed solely for mobile platform delivery.

Policy

At SmartSign we seek to ensure all of our websites and web applications, conform to all Level AA success criteria of W3C WAI WCAG 2.0. This applies to both customer-facing and for internal use. We also aim to ensure that our authoring tools conform to all Level AA criteria of ATAG.

Applicability

This policy applies to all new, updated, and existing web content on and all content provided internally at SmartSign.

By November 1, 2019, SmartSign’s websites will meet WCAG 2.0, Level A conformance. By May 1, 2020 web content will meet WCAG 2.0, Level AA conformance.

SmartSign will review all areas of the website every year. We will use the process described at Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology. Reviews are the responsibility of the IT department. Accessibility checks will be incorporated into the publishing workflow for all new content.

Report any issues to [email protected]

This policy does not stipulate any particular technology or design approach. The aim is to maximize access to and use of SmartSign websites by people with disabilities.

Need for policy

The June 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) Report on Disability estimated that there are a billion people with disabilities. Many of these disabilities can affect access to information technologies, and/or can benefit from the use of information technologies, including the Web.

Accessibility of the Web is of critical importance to people with disabilities around the world, including people with auditory, cognitive, physical, neurological, and visual disabilities, and is likewise important to those with accessibility needs due to aging.

Providing accessible web content can also benefit people who do not have disabilities but who are experiencing situational barriers. For instance, when accessing the Web from devices with small screens or in low bandwidth situations, or when experiencing barriers due to language or literacy levels, accessibility solutions can also support improved access.

SmartSign is committed to ensuring equal access for people with disabilities. As potential customers and employees they are important contributor to SmartSign business success and should not be excluded.

Accessibility Guidelines

SmartSign has adopted the Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (link to: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/) version 2.0, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) as its goal for accessible SmartSign Websites. The guidelines and success criteria of WCAG 2.0 Level AA are organized around the following four principles which lay the foundation for users with disabilities to access and use web content. For a SmartSignWebsite to be accessible under these principles, its content must be:

  1. Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  2. Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  3. Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
  4. Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

Responsibilities

Accessibility Coordinator

Consolidate annual status reports for presentation to the members at annual meeting.

Prepare and provide accessibility training and guidance.

Promote web accessibility awareness internally.

Respond to user enquiries related to web accessibility.

Organize on-going assessment of the accessibility of websites, content, services, and applications identified as in scope.

Web project managers

Ensure compliance with this policy.

Prepare project accessibility report at key project stages; analysis, design, development, and QA.

Ensure user feedback mechanisms are included as part of project deliverables.

Ensure all staff receive appropriate and regular accessibility training.

IT department and webmasters

Choose and implement tools that conform to this policy.

Provide tools to support in automated accessibility checking.

Remedy identified accessibility barriers.

Web content management teams

Ensure all staff receive appropriate and regular accessibility training.

Ensure submitted content is compliant with this policy.

Fix identified accessibility issues in authored web content.

Exclusions

Web content that has been archived is not subject to the standards referenced in this policy.

Should there be a specific request for access to archived content by any individual with a disability, that content will be made available in a suitable format within 10 business days. Where it is not technically possible to make the content available, a suitable alternative should be agreed with the individual. The department or team responsible for the creation of the content is responsible for making it accessible.

Procurement

This policy applies to all web content developed by or for SmartSign.

This policy should be referenced within any contract of services or statements of work for web content, websites, services, or applications.

Any contract must include provision for an independent statement of conformance stating that the work meets the required standard. This should form part of the deliverables approval process.

Syndicated content

Elements of SmartSign websites might include web content syndicated from other providers. For example, a social media stream.

When considering a syndication service for inclusion in any of SmartSign websites, any service review should include an evaluation of the accessibility of the service. Such evaluations must form a part of the service selection criteria.

Where a service is selected with known accessibility issues, SmartSign will develop or procure a solution that ensures the content delivered via SmartSign websites meets the policy standards.

Responding to Accessibility Issues

Recognizing the ongoing evolution of current web content and technologies, the designated webmaster for a particular site, upon being made aware of an accessibility issue on that site, should proceed as follows:

  • Acknowledge receipt of the issue in writing (via email) to the User raising the issue
  • Open an accessibility case for recording the issue and resulting action taken.
  • Verify that the issue is an authentic accessibility issue.
  • Treat all issues as important. Address any time-sensitive need of the User promptly (generally within a period of no greater than five business days), unless technology or work involved requires more effort, in which case the User will be promptly notified in writing of expected delivery.

Reporting

Each department with responsibility for web content, websites, services, or applications must submit an annual status report to the Accessibility Coordinator.

The status report will summarize the efforts and progress towards the aims defined by this policy.

Policy review

This policy shall be reviewed at least once a year by the Accessibility Coordinator.

The review should include input from IT, Marketing, HR, and Legal.

Contacts

Accessibility Coordinator Scott Davies, 718-797-1900, [email protected]

Documents

This policy was last updated on: April 8, 2019

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